I have noticed something. Have you?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Joshua_Lee, Sep 13, 2010.

  1. Joshua_Lee

    Joshua_Lee TPF Noob!

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    I have only been into photography for a short time. Mostly landscapes for about a year. Here recently in the last couple of months I have been shooting portraits. So this just gives you an idea of my experience. (Not Much and not a claim to be professional)

    Now what I have noticed is that anyone with an SLR now thinks they can shoot professionally within a few months of owning a camera. I would be glad to shoot you for free, but wouldn't think of accepting money at this point in my experience. Just yesterday a friends sister asked me if I would shoot her engagement and bridal portraits. I told her, "I would be glad to do them for free and if she likes them, then she could keep them. If not, then get a professional to shoot them. I just like the practice."

    Do people jumping in quickly not ruin the reputation of professional photographers? I just wanted your thoughts. This spawned from a friend of mine who does photography with about the same experience as I have, and charges people for the shoots.

    I guess my question is to you all is. What defines a professional, or can art be defined? How off track am I in thinking this?

    Cheers,
     
  2. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    My opinion is that a "professional" is one who makes all or a part of his income from photography. It is by no means an indicator of skill. I have seen many outstanding amateurs whose abilities put to shame professionals.

    There's a common belief among professionals, and indeed many amateurs too I think, that the proliferation of inexpensive DSLRs has flooded the market with 'wanna-bes'. Does it really hurt the "real" professionals all that much? I don't think so, because at the end of the day, skill is what matters, and I suspect that 99% of the wanna-bes never get passed their first job. What it does do is make choosing a really good photographer for your event more difficult.
     
  3. AgentDrex

    AgentDrex No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    So, yeah, me too, a buddy of mine told me he wants me to shoot his wedding after seeing some of my photos...I told him the same thing, you want to hire someone who has been doing photography for a lot longer than me, I am flattered, but seriously...don't bloat my already big ego by telling me such awesome stuff like I'm good enough to do professional style wedding photos...screw that! Sure, I'd like the practice but I don't want to be the guy stuck capturing the memories...not yet...
     
  4. Boomn4x4

    Boomn4x4 TPF Noob!

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    It dosen't ruin the repuation at all, quite the opposite... it DEFINES the true professional.

    Its open market capitalism.... and keeps the "professional" honest. If someone who's been at it for 3 months is getting money off of it.. .then more power to them. If a professional is sitting back complaining about how people with 3 months experience are taking away customers... then that "professional" needs to take a big step down off of his ivory tower and come to terms with the fact that he isn't all that good.
     
  5. Scatterbrained

    Scatterbrained Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    [​IMG]
     
  6. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Your post contains several questions that have been beaten to death over the past two years or so. But yes, yes, and yes. Oh, no,wait, I mean, yes, hard to define, and it can be defined, and your observations have been noted. The current craze of MWAC and GWC photography has brought the standards of "professional" photography down to incredibly low levels, probably as low as they have ever been. We now have one- and two-year "professionals", who are entirely self-taught, having taken no classes, had no mentors, and read basically no books, starting up photography businesses.

    Today, the web is FILLED with absolutely horrible MWAC and GWC shooters who cannot even handle something as simple as white balance, have no idea when to turn the camera vertical (if they ever do!), have no idea about composition or lighting or anything except how to run Photoshop actions. Entirely self-taught. Think about that. There are millions of people who call themselves photographers, and they are for the most part entirely self-taught. No teachers. No mentor(s). No associates. No courses of study. No books, just the web. And many of these people are shooting "professionally" these days, meaning they accept money from people who will pay for their products. That's kind of what has happened lately. That is absolutely,positively NOT the way professional photography has been conducted and entered as a profession for the prior 150 years.

    The Judge Joe Brown wedding photographer episode was a laugh riot.
     
  7. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I think its a mix of dSLRs being so cheap (compared to the film days) but also the fact that the majority of people now use various social media sites to display their images (myspace, facebook,...). These places compress the crap out of images and they will look like crap, no matter who takes them. Not many people print and mount.

    So with the expectation bar set so low in terms of quality, add to that the influx of people with cameras..you get a very oversaturated market at the low end.
     
  8. Scatterbrained

    Scatterbrained Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    You should see the listings in the local Craigslist for photogs. Hell, just the other night I was out shooting and was talking to a guy with a new D3s, he was shooting on auto! As a matter of fact, I was watching a parade recently and noticed that all of the DSLRs around me were in auto. :grumpy: These are the same people advertising on CL as event and portrait photogs. (just for fun I will sometime check the exif on these "pro" photogs images) I think the sour economy hasn't helped as people see the camera as a quick way to make some extra money. Entry level DSLRs have replaced Amway and Mary Kay as ways for uneducated jobless individuals to try and "make it" or just make ends meet. The fact that most people know nothing about photography and are so awash in snapshots that they use them as a meter doesn't help matters as it encourages poor photography.

    There is a similar effect in music that is termed the "MP3 effect", people have become so adjusted to listening to poor quality renditions of their favorite music that they begin to prefer it to higher fidelity alternatives. :confused:
     
  9. tnvol

    tnvol TPF Noob!

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    I couldn't agree more. A while back my wife paid someone to take pictures of her and my kids in a park and I was pretty shocked at how bad they were. If they had been free pictures from a friend I could have delt with it better but she paid a couple hundred bucks for pure crap.
     
  10. AgentDrex

    AgentDrex No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Re: MP3 reference:

    Monkey Audio is pretty hi-quality...but for a compressed format, I happen to love OGG...
     
  11. JG_Coleman

    JG_Coleman No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I think, though, that a whole lot of this issue revolves more around "service" photographers. The idea of the crappy wedding photographer (just watched Joe Brown on YouTube...LOL) is a far cry from that of stock photographers, for example.

    There are really two major portions of the photography business...

    A) The photographers that get hired to photo-document something. They are being hired to take photos.

    and 2) the photographers who sell their photography as-is, from a portfolio and/or stock agency.

    As far as the "as-is" photographers go, such as in stock photography, the quality of their work speaks for itself. Their "performance" as a photographer is simply a measure of their current portfolio. It's rather difficult, I think, to pull the wool over customer's eyes in this type of photography. They are getting precisely what they are paying for... and there really isn't much room for surprises there.

    I don't think that beginners entering into the field can really spoil that type of photography too much at all... either they are genuinely good and get sales because they deserve them, are they are't that good and don't make sales. It's pretty cut-and-dry.

    "Service" photography is a different story, of course... and that's already been covered.
     
  12. mwcfarms

    mwcfarms No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I admit I am one of those people who bought a DSLR a while ago. Few months back. I had previously shot with a Minolta 35mm straight out of high school for my moms newspaper business doing their darkroom developing and ad copy. Pretty low key. Insert, college, kids, life and have only recently gotten back into the fray so to speak.

    Do I want to become someone who profits from my pictures. Yes. Will I charge for my time and services again yes. I don't think that a horrible idea. My time is valuable. Do I want to present myself in the best possible professional aspect. Absolutely. I am taking classes, and reading and practicing like a mad woman. Always trying to grow.

    So I guess that makes me one of these people the OP is referring too. I am not a professional by certain standards but in a years time I hope to be making money from sessions that I am doing for free now to grow and expand on. Sue me.
     

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